Birtwell opts for Versafire

Trade printer Birtwell & Co has installed a Heidelberg Versafire CV digital press and will be taking delivery of a new Morgana folder in the coming weeks.

The combined investment, which was just shy of £100,000, was initiated to take on more jobs.

The Versafire was installed in early January and was fully operational by the end of the month. It will run alongside Birtwell’s three-year-old Konica Bizhub Pro C7000, the firm's first digital press, which is being retained as a back-up machine.

“We had certain obligations where we needed to print same day and we were starting to let people down so we decided to upgrade to the Heidelberg," said Birtwell managing director Matt Birtwell.

"It’s very similar to the Konica in what it actually does. Fiery is an upgrade and the software benefits on there for the variable data are good as we do quite a lot of sequential and random numbering. Production wise it’s also quite a lot faster.”

The new machine has maximum speeds of 2,700 A4sph and 2,400 A3sph at a maximum resolution of 1,200x4,800dpi. It prints on a variety of substrates of 52-360gsm.

45-staff Birtwell was also attracted to the Versafire’s fifth colour option, for which it is using clear varnish. Birtwell is due to send out promotional material to customers over the next few weeks to advertise the clear varnish option. 

“Jobs done using the varnish have been jobs that we’ve enhanced for the client to show them something different. If a client needs UV it’s not quite as good as that but it is a much cheaper option for short-run products,” added Birtwell. 

Last year, Heidelberg launched a new neon yellow spot colour for the machine. 

The folder, a Morgana DigiFold Pro 385, replaced an older Morgana folder. Birtwell referred to it as a “more modern, faster machine”. 

The £3.5m-turnover outfit mainly produces high-volume NCR work, using two Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 52s, along with five Edelmann web presses.

It operates from a 2,000sqm premises in Clayton-Le-Moors. 


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